August 31-September 3, Labor Day Weekend Actuals

1. The Possession (Ghost House/Lionsgate) NEW [2,816 Runs] PG13
Friday $6.1M, Saturday $6.3M, Sunday $5.3M, Monday $3.3M
3-Day Weekend $17.7M, 4-Day Holiday $21.1M

2. Lawless (Revolt/Yucaipa/Weinstein) Week 1 [2,888 Runs] R
Friday $2.8M, Saturday $3.5M, Sunday $3.8M, Monday $2.9M
3-Day Weekend $10.0M, 4-Day Holiday $12.9M, 5-day Cume $15.0M

3. The Expendables 2 (Millenium/Lionsgate) Week 3 [3,334 Runs] R
Friday $2.2M, Saturday $3.3M, Sunday $3.5M, Monday $2.4M
3-Day Weekend $9M (-33%), 4-Day Holiday $11.5M (-15%), Cume $68.8M

4. The Bourne Legacy (Universal) Week 4 [3,131 Runs] PG13
Friday $1.8M, Saturday $2.7M, Sunday $2.8M, Monday $2.1M
3-Day Weekend $7.2M (-23%), 4-Day Holiday $9.3M (0%), Cume $98.3M

5. ParaNorman 3D (Focus Features) Week 3 [3,085 Runs] PG
Friday $1.4M, Saturday $2.5M, Sunday $2.6M, Monday $2.4M
3-Day Weekend $6.6M (-24%), 4-Day Holiday $9M (+4%), Cume $40.4M

6. The Odd Life Of Timothy Green (Disney) Week 3 [2,635 Runs] PG
Friday $1.4M, Saturday $2.4M, Sunday $2.4M, Monday $2.3M
3-Day Weekend $6.3M (-12%), 4-Day Holiday $8.6M (+20%), Cume $38.4M

7. The Dark Knight Rises (Legendary/WB) Week 7 [2,187 Runs] PG13
Friday $1.4M, Saturday $2.2M, Sunday $2.5M, Monday $1.9M
3-Day Weekend $6.1M (-15%), 4-Day Holiday $8M (+11%), Cume $433.3M

8. 2016 Obama’s America (Rocky Mountain Pics) Week 8 [1,747 Runs]
Friday $1.7M, Saturday $2M, Sunday $2M, Monday $1.9M
3-Day Weekend $5.6M (-14%), 4-Day Holiday $7.5M (+16%), Cume $20.6M

9. The Campaign (Warner Bros) Week 4 [2,941 Runs] R
Friday $1.4M, Saturday $2.0M, Sunday $2.3M, Monday $1.5M
3-Day Weekend $5.7M (-24%), 4-Day Holiday $7.2M (-4%), Cume $74.8M

10. Hope Springs (Columbia/Sony) Week 4 [2,441 Runs] PG13
Friday $1.2M, Saturday $1.8M, Sunday $1.7M, Monday $1.5M
3-Day Weekend $4.7M (-18%), 4-Day Holiday $6.1M (+7%), Cume $53.5M

‘Dark Knight Rises’ Now 11th Film In History To Pass $1B Milestone
‘Marvel’s The Avengers’ Passes $1.5B Mark

MONDAY AM, 6TH UPDATE: Hope you enjoyed your Labor Day weekend and the end to Summer 2012′s up and down movie season. It started out strong with Marvel’s The Avengers (which Disney expanded into about 1,700 theaters this weekend to help its worldwide gross push past $1.5B sooner). Then tragedy almost sank The Dark Knight Rises which Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures will announce today is the 11th film to pass $1 billion global box office. But this end to the Summer 2012 movie season is now finishing weak on what is traditionally one of the softer weekends of the year. Overall moviegoing is $104M, down -2.7% from last year.

Lionsgate’s The Possession (2,816 theaters) from horror master Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures opened to a 3-day weekend of $17.7M. Estimate for the 4-day holiday of $21.3M. The production budget was only in the low- to mid-teens. Audiences gave the film a ‘B’ CinemaScore which didn’t help or hurt word of mouth. (Though horror genre movies don’t score higher than ‘B+’.) Factoring in The Expendables 2, Lionsgate was #1 for three weeks in a row if the pic holds. The Possession bills itself as based on a true tale of terror about a man who bought a wine box possessed by a demon at an estate sale in Portland, Oregon in 2001. Jason Haxton wrote a book about his Dibbuk box experiences and helped seed the story virally including a SyFy Channel documentary. Lionsgate also produced a documentary, enlisting Jewish mysticism experts about evil spirits, which debuted on EPIX. Marketing targeted horror fans and young females with a media buy that capitalized on the PG-13 rating and cable TV shows about hauntings. Lionsgate also created a blog called “The Secret Teachings” about so-called real experiences of people who were possessed. Matisyahu, the Jewish musician who stars in the film, cross-promoted the release with his new album. The film also stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick. It was directed by Ole Bornedal (Nightwatch), written by Juliet Snowden & Stiles White, and produced by Raimi along with Robert Tapert and JR Young.

The Weinstein Company’s R-rated outlaw drama Lawless (2,888 theaters) is #2 with an estimated 3-day weekend of $10.0M, and a four-day Labor Day holiday of $13.0M. That makes the six-day cume $15.1M after opening on Wednesday - underwhelming with all that acting prowess like Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain, and Mia Wasikowska. I’m surprised TWC didn’t platform the pic before taking it out wide this Labor day weekend. “What usually happens for a Wednesday opening is that you can get around 12.5 times that number for the 6 days Wednesday through Monday which would put us at $13.5M,” a Weinstein exec told me on Thursday. “Anything $12 million or better would be pretty good all things considered. So I think we would be very happy with that number.” The Weinstein Company bought U.S. rights to the film at Cannes 2011 and have partnered with both Sean Combs’ Revolt Films and Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Films. This gritty bootlegger tale based on real-life Prohibition figures reteams The Proposition team of director John Hillcoat and screenwriter Nick Cave. Tracking was decent particularly with males aged 17-34.

Holdovers: Millenium’s and Lionsgate’s The Expendables 2 (3,334 theaters) is in 3rd place with a cume of $68.5M. Universal’s The Bourne Legacy is in 4th place with a total of $98.4M.

Last weekend’s surprise 2016 Obama’s America (expanding into 1,750 theaters starting its 8th week in release) continues helped by the Republican National Convention. The conservative political documentary came in #8 this weekend. By Monday’s end, pic is now the 5th biggest grossing political documentary for $20.3M, besting the $14.3M for Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story (2009) not adjusted for inflation or higher ticket prices. 2016 Obama’s America is produced by Gerald R. Molen who credits “learning some lessons” from Moore. “When he released Fahrenheit 9/11 in 2004 ahead of the election, it sparked intense debate.”

Related: Anti-Obama Film Hot In Battleground States

I really object to error-prone media outlets characterizing newcomer Oogieloves In The Big Balloon Adventure (2,160 theaters) as “the worst national opening ever”. First there’s the qualifier that it’s a movie playing in more than 2,000 theaters. And then there’s the reality that it actually debuted midweek so that disqualifies it from being the worst right there. Granted, this Kenn Viselman Presents pic made a really lousy 3-day weekend showing of $445K, and the 4-day holiday just $601K, for a total $827K during its first 6 days through Labor Day. And its per screen average gave new meaning to the word anemic. Problem was, as one reviewer snarked, it’s a children’s movie for those tots who think the Teletubbies are too sophisticated. ‘Nuff said.

Here’s the Top Ten based on 4-day holiday estimates:

1. The Possession (Ghost House/Lionsgate) NEW [2,816 Runs]
Friday $6.0M, Saturday $6.3M, Sunday $5.3M, Monday $3.6M
3-Day Weekend $17.7M, 4-Day Holiday $21.3M

2. Lawless (Revolt/Yucaipa/Weinstein) Week 1 [2,888 Runs]
Friday $2.7M, Saturday $3.4M, Sunday $3.7M, Monday $3.0M
3-Day Weekend $10.0M, 4-Day Holiday $13.0M, Cume $15.1M

3. The Expendables 2 (Millenium/Lionsgate) Week 3 [3,334 Runs]
Friday $2.2M (-40%), Saturday $3.3M, Sunday $3.4M, Monday $2.3M
3-Day Weekend $8.9M, 4-Day Holiday $11.2M, Cume $68.5M

4. The Bourne Legacy (Universal) Week 4 [3,131 Runs]
Friday $1.8M, Saturday $2.7M, Sunday $2.8M, Monday $2.1M
3-Day Weekend $7.3M, 4-Day Holiday $9.4M, Cume $98.3M

5. ParaNorman 3D (Focus Features) Week 3 [3,085 Runs]
Friday $1.4M, Saturday $2.5M, Sunday $2.5M, Monday $2.4M
3-Day Weekend $6.5M, 4-Day Holiday $8.8M, Cume $40.2M

6. The Odd Life Of Timothy Green (Disney) Week 3 [2,635 Runs]
Friday $1.4M, Saturday $2.4M, Sunday $2.4M, Monday $2.2M
3-Day Weekend $6.2M, 4-Day Holiday $8.5M, Cume $38.3M

7. The Dark Knight Rises (Legendary/WB) Week 7 [2,187 Runs]
Friday $1.4M, Saturday $2.3M, Sunday $2.4M, Monday $1.8M
3-Day Weekend $6.1M, 4-Day Holiday $7.9M, Cume $433.2M

8. 2016 Obama’s America (Rocky Mountain Pics) Week 8 [1,750 Runs]
Friday $1.6M, Saturday $1.9M, Sunday $1.9M, Monday $1.4M
3-Day Weekend $5.6M, 4-Day Holiday $7.0M, Cume $20.3M

9. The Campaign (Warner Bros) Week 4 [2,941 Runs]
Friday $1.3M, Saturday $2.0M, Sunday $2.2M, Monday $2.0M
3-Day Weekend $5.6M, 4-Day Holiday $7.0M, Cume $74.8M

10. Hope Springs (Columbia/Sony) Week 4 [2,441 Runs]
Friday $1.1M, Saturday $1.7M, Sunday $1.7M, Monday $1.7M
3-Day Weekend $4.7M, 4-Day Holiday $6.0M, Cume $53.3M

 THURSDAY AM: The Weinstein Company’s R-rated outlaw drama Lawless opened in the dog days of August in 2,565 theaters Wednesday. Its $1.1M was good enough to narrowly edge out two-week-straight #1 The Expendables 2 from Millenium/Lionsgate.

For more estimates listed by title, see box office results here...

Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke - tip her here.